The Bush administration affirmed on Wednesday Israel's right to defend itself against acts of terror and called on Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, and Egypt to help resolve a crisis provoked by the abduction of IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit. The White House and State Department declined to take a position on the IDF operation in southern Gaza. But spokesmen again condemned the abduction of an Israeli corporal and said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US diplomats "continue to do everything we can... to bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution." Abbas and the Egyptians "have contacts and have capabilities that can be useful in resolving this crisis," said deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli.